Ben Simmons is the most well rounded player on the Sixers. His energy swings the pace of any game, making him the key to the team’s long-term success.
Ben Simmons is the glue for the Sixers. No matter what your thoughts or opinions are regarding his shooting (or lack thereof), you can’t deny that he’s the one that sets the tone. Each game, his intensity matches how the Sixers perform for that contest.
The Sixers/Wizards game was a shootout for the first three quarters and Bradley Beal seemed like he couldn’t miss. 57 points through three quarters. Read it again. 57 points through three quarters.
The Sixers, on the other hand, were shooting the lights out. Seth Curry wasn’t missing. Joel Embiid, after a horrible 1-6 start to the game, came in and was on fire from the second quarter on. Danny Green was having a hard time defending Beal. However, anyone in the league would too if Beal was on fire like he was to start the game.
But, the difference had to be Ben Simmons.
Ben Simmons’ Impact vs. Wizards
When Simmons left the game for the bench, the Sixers held a comfortable lead and by the time he came back in the game was tied.
The team is a better defensive team when Simmons is on the floor. It’s not even close. When you have a 6’10” point guard roaming the floor, as Doc Rivers preferred tonight, it helps the team as a whole.
Any team that has to deal with Beal and Russell Westbrook is going to have trouble, but Simmons kept Westbrook to an honest 8-18 from the field. Westbrook had a good bit of his points while Simmons was on the bench. When Simmons was off the floor, their offense looked out of sync, the three pointers were not falling, and they were playing sloppy basketball.
Simmons returned to the game and that all went away. The team regained control and finished up the 141-136 win.
Simmons’ Well-Rounded Play
His offensive stats
When people look at Ben Simmons, all they seem to talk about is the lack of shooting. Against the Wizards, Simmons went 7-9 on field goals, accounting for his 17 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds. He added his customary two steals per game– including a crucial steal on Westbrook during a fast break in crunch time. On the season, Simmons averages just under 14 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game.
There are also times when Simmons is sitting in the corner, where he can and feels comfortable hitting a three, but the ball didn’t make it to him. That’s not a problem this early in the season. He’s going to get the ball in those situations more as the team gets more comfortable playing together.
His passing and defense are what’s going to lead the Sixers deep in to the playoffs and possibly to the NBA Finals. Late in the Wizards game, with Simmons holding the ball on the left side, he turned and threw an absolute laser to Green for a corner three-pointer. After Green drilled the three, the announcers couldn’t believe that he made the pass, let alone saw the open man. That’s the biggest benefit of having a 6’10 point guard.
His passing is otherworldly and the teams in the NBA know it. It’s hard to contain him. This being said, what he doesn’t have to do is score 30 points per game. As long has he’s controlling the tempo and leading on defense, the Sixers will go as far as he can take them.
Say what you want about his shooting- what Ben Simmons brings to the floor as an overall great player puts other teams on their heels as soon as he hits the floor.
With Tobias Harris, Danny Green and Seth Curry burying three pointers and playing their game and Joel Embiid just flat out dominating, Simmons is the key to the Sixers making a serious run at the NBA title this season.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire